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Editorial: High-caliber company coming

Published 11:16pm Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Everybody likes to put their best face forward when company comes, and when it’s world-class artists and entertainers visiting Dowagiac’s Dogwood Fine Arts Festival, it would be nice to see every seat in the house filled as a warm community welcome.

We’re not sure why Dowagiac doesn’t wrap this gem in a tighter embrace, like it does Youth Fine Arts Night, the districtwide showcase for student artists and musicians, which begins with the Jazz Band lighting the fuse and ends with a rafter-rattling indoor explosion by the Chieftain Marching Band.

We’re especially mystified because a chronic complaint groused in Dowagiac is that there’s nothing to do.

Dogwood is the antidote to nothing to do, with no fewer than four free events besides Youth Fine Arts Night at 6 p.m. at Union High School on Thursday, May 17.

Saturday at 2 p.m. at Dogwood headquarters in Huntington Bank, 207 Commercial St., is Toast ’n’ Jam, which exposes children ages 3 to 12 to classical music with the quintet Lake Effect Winds.

Also offered at no charge on May 12 is the screening of “Wonder Boys” at 7:30 p.m. at Beckwith Theatre, 100 New York Ave.
Dogwood is collaborating with Beckwith and Dowagiac District Library to show the film by visiting author Michael Chabon. Directed by Academy Award-winner Curtis Hanson, it features

Oscar winners Michael Douglas and Frances McDormand, along with Tobey Maguire, Robert Downey Jr. and Katie Holmes.

Up Front Art Walk throughout the festival May 11-20 is a juried show displayed in downtown Dowagiac in merchant windows on and adjacent to Front Street.

Look at your leisure and be part of the public vote.

Perhaps the best bargain is Monday, May 14, visual artist Hank Feeley, who put off pursuing painting seriously until his 50s, after a global advertising career with Leo Burnett. Not many people graduate both Harvard Business School and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His work will hang here, then New York.

Hear Feeley’s incredible tale, which begins with seascapes on Cape Cod at age 9, at 7:30 p.m. Monday, May 14, in the theater of the Dale A. Lyons Building at Southwestern Michigan College.
We’ve got company coming.

Let’s make them feel welcome with our attention to their gifts.

This editorial represents the views of the editorial board.

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